- Netflix plummeted as much as 12% on Thursday after reporting its subscriber growth fell to 2.7 million during the second quarter. Analysts expected the streaming giant to add around 5 million subscribers.
- In addition, the company’s US paid-subscriber base shrunk by 130,000, badly missing already-conservative estimates of 309,240 domestic additions.
- The company attributed the slowdown to its content slate adding fewer subscribers than it anticipated, and the recent price hikes for Netflix’s monthly service.
- Here’s what Wall Street analysts are saying after Netflix’s huge subscriber miss.
- Watch Netflix trade live.
Netflix saw $17 billion of its market value wiped out on Thursday after revealing it lost US subscribers last quarter for the first time since 2011.
The disappointing news was part of the streaming giant’s second-quarter earnings report that came after the closing bell on Wednesday. In addition to the US decline, Netflix said it added 2.7 million global paid subscribers during the period, badly missing analyst estimates of 5 million.
"Our missed forecast was across all regions, but slightly more so in regions with price increases," Netflix said in an press release. "We don’t believe competition was a factor since there wasn’t a material change in the competitive landscape during Q2."
Netflix also said it struggled this quarter because its content slate drove less growth than the company anticipated. It’s content offering included the third season of "Stranger Things," which accumulated over 40 million views according to the company.
Netflix hopes to offset its slow subscriber growth from the second quarter by adding 7 million paid members in the third quarter. Outside of subscribers, earnings per share of $0.60 beat expectations of $0.56 and revenue grew to $4.92 billion, falling just short of the $4.93 billion target from Wall Street.
Analysts who cover the company published new research on Thursday in reaction to Netflix’s subscriber miss. Some said the fall in net additions in the second quarter was normal, while others doubted Netflix’s path to profitability.
Here’s what Wall Street analysts are saying about Netflix’s tough second quarter:
JPMorgan: ‘2Q results are often volatile & NFLX had a number of moving pieces this quarter.’
Price target: $425
"NFLX saw impact in both gross adds & churn, but we believe the relatively lighter content slate was the primary factor, along with pull- forward from what was a very strong 1Q (9.6M paid net adds)," analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in a research note on Thursday.
He added: "NFLX’s adverse 2Q seasonality also weighed, & we believe price increases contributed to elevated churn levels."
Goldman Sachs: ‘The correlation between content spend and subscriber net adds actually ticked up modestly’
Price Target: $420
"As Netflix’s content investments, distribution partnerships and marketing spend drive subscriber growth significantly above consensus expectations and the company approaches an inflection point in cash profitability, we continue to believe shares of NFLX will significantly outperform." A team of analysts led by Health Terry said in a note to clients on Thursday.